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Russian Roulette - the BP and Rosneft deal

Russian Roulette – the BP and Rosneft deal

On 22nd October BP plc announced it had agreed heads of terms to sell its 50% stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft. BP’s official announcement of the proposed deal refers to Rosneft’s 2011 oil reserve replacement ratio of 127% and dividend of 25% of IFRS net income. However, there are a number of areas of concern...
Shell Classic International: A musical mask and a social licence

Shell Classic International: A musical mask and a social licence

A guest post from musician Chris Garrard. Tonight, the new season of the Shell Classic International concert series will open at the Southbank. The first piece of this first concert is Benajmin Britten’s ‘plea for peace’, the Sinfonia da Requiem. The unpleasant irony is that Shell, the sponsor of these concerts, have now spent in...
Divide and fall? Total criticise Arctic oil drilling

Divide and fall? Total criticise Arctic oil drilling

As Andy Rowell wrote this morning, “this is big news”. Total are the first major oil company to publicly state that companies should not be drilling for oil in the Arctic. A divide amongst the oil majors will only increase pressure on companies, like Shell, who despite having to abandon this years drilling plans, still...
MPs find government support for Arctic drilling 'reckless'

MPs find government support for Arctic drilling ‘reckless’

The UK government’s support for Arctic Oil drilling was labelled ‘reckless’ today by the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC). The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been quietly supporting oil companies’ Arctic ambitions but this is the first time there has been public scrutiny of the department’s actions in relation to Arctic drilling. The Committee published...
Shell commences Arctic drilling, US regulator releases 'skimpy' permit report

Shell commences Arctic drilling, US regulator releases ‘skimpy’ permit report

“It’s the first time a drill bit has touched the sea floor in the U.S. Chukchi Sea in more than two decades,” – a Shell spokesperson said as the company announced its “historic” first test well in offshore Alaska. And now is not a good time. Shell’s permit to drill was conditional on the company’s...
Que Sera Sera: the UK Government and Arctic oil

Que Sera Sera: the UK Government and Arctic oil

Last week ministers appeared in front of the Environmental Audit Committee to defend their position on Arctic oil extraction. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Polar Regions Unit states that while it is concerned with “the effects of climate change on the Arctic” they also recognise “the potential of the Arctic to strengthen energy security” –...
EU announces Arctic policy, but what does it mean?

EU announces Arctic policy, but what does it mean?

Yesterday (3rd July) the European Commission published a document outlining its policy position on the Arctic region. Alarmingly, one of the action priorities listed in the press release is "Promotion and development of environmentally friendly technologies that could be used by extractive industries in the Arctic". In the Communication full text (p9) they add: In...
Planes, claims and Arctic extraction

Planes, claims and Arctic extraction

In April the Canadian House of Commons passed an 'austerity' budget that included the loss of 19,200 public sector jobs, cutting federal programs by $5.2 billion per year and raising the retirement age from 65 to 67. Yet Canada is significantly less austere when it comes to their military spending. This week it was announced...

Out in the Cold – new report on Shell’s plans in the Arctic

Shell’s Annual General Meeting tomorrow is unlikely to go calmly. The company’s problems range from anger over excessive executive pay to spills in the Niger delta. At this time, Platform, Greenpeace and FairPensions are putting to scrutiny offshore Arctic exploration as a key direction in the company’s strategy. The new report ‘Out in the Cold...

Risking ruin: Shell’s investments in Tar Sands, the Arctic and Nigeria

This article first appeared as an introduction to a report, Risking Ruin: Shell’s dangerous developments in the Tar Sands, Arctic and Nigeria, published on 18 May 2012 by Indigenous Environmental Network and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. As economic austerity bites, major oil companies are making staggering profits. A high oil price in 2011 made Shell $30.92 billion in annual...
Risking Ruin: Shell’s dangerous developments in the Tar Sands, Arctic and Nigeria

Risking Ruin: Shell’s dangerous developments in the Tar Sands, Arctic and Nigeria

Shell’s plant is located directly on my father’s hunting grounds and today, instead of feeding my family, these lands kill my community. Shell’s plans to expand bitumen refining in an area already devastated by pollution is effectively a death sentence for our culture, lands and people. Ron Plain This report profiles the global Indigenous communities impacted by Shell’s operations in Canada’s Alberta Tar Sands,...
Oil projects too far - banks & investors refuse finance for Arctic oil

Oil projects too far – banks & investors refuse finance for Arctic oil

West LB have decided not to finance oil & gas development projects in the arctic and F & C have dropped Arctic oil explorers Cairn from their ethical portfolio. The German corporate finance & investment bank, West LB, launched a new environmental policy in February and its guidelines are important in relation to the push...